If you’re seeking white sand, spectacular diving and surf, bubbling hot springs, majestic waterfalls and traditional villages – away from Bali-esque crowds – then Nusa Tenggara is your wonderland. Spreading west from the Wallace Line dividing Asia from Australasia, this archipelago is jungle-green in the north and tending to drier savannah in the south and east. In between are limitless surf breaks and barrels, technicolor volcanic lakes, pink-sand beaches, swaggering dragons and underwater worlds filled with color and creatures.
You’ll also find a cultural diversity that's unmatched, even in multicultural Indonesia. Animist and traditional practices still thrive alongside minarets, convents and chapels, and though Bahasa Indonesia is the lingua franca, each island has at least one native language, often subdivided into dialects. From a beach-forward, tourist-ready vacation to stepping outside your comfort zone for the sort of experiences that leave an indelible mark on your memory, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Nusa Tenggara.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Nusa Tenggara.
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